At CodeMonk we have a community of 3000 skilled developers, engineers, and other profiles in the tech industry. We like to uncover the people behind the keyboards, and what better than to ask them some tricky questions about life as a talent in tech. Today, I am talking to Thomas about the future of work, how to implement DevOps in an organization, and about the days when carpooling to an office was a thing.
Thomas has been working with the founders of CodeMonk for many years already, and on several client projects through the platform and community. He met Prakash Pilley, CRO of CodeMonk, around 2014 when carpooling to an office was still a thing. Thomas is a DevOps expert and a true remote advocate. Almost before our call has connected, he is talking away on all the benefits that working remotely have given him.
“Our parent’s generation started to travel more, and it was common for them not to stay inthe same place as our grandparents. But for us – we are often not even in the same country or even continent! I think this brings us a lot of opportunities, especially if our job does not have to be in the country we live in.”
That makes me think about the reason why I joined the CodeMonk team 6 months ago as our Head of Marketing. The mission of the company is to create opportunities for people all over the world and no matter where you are based. But unfortunately we do not see this for all companies out there. I am wondering what Thomas thinks about what we now call the future of work?
“You will still have those companies that will say no no, you have to come back to the office, but in my opinion they are a dying breed. Now people have realized that you do not have to waste your time commuting every day – like when Prakash and I were carpooling together”.
“It is such an improvement to quality of life to be able to work fully remotely. And yes, there are items that you might miss out on, and I think that there is value in in-person interaction, but they can be less frequent”
Thomas has been working remotely the last 8 years of his career. Back then he had a team of 20 in India, 10 in Egypt, 5 people in Hungary and a few more in Germany. He found that he was never really spending any time in the UK office, which was a natural start to a remote career.
“It gave us a lot more flexibility and these companies where really the early pioneers in providing remote working options. They treated us like adults. They didn’t count the hours spend at the desk, they looked at the results. Counting hours is a very old-fashioned way of working. I could never go back to that environment again”
“I think it is so much better if people can work around their family life. You can be free to pick up your kids from school, spend time with them and then work again in the evening when the kids are in bed. This is the future of work. I also read that if you are in the office, you only have like 3-4 productive hours anyway, because there are so many things going on. I still think that there is a value in spending actual time with your colleagues and peers, and some opportunities you might miss out on by working remotely. But in the grand scheme of things, I still think that there are more benefits to the remote way of working.”
The first big project Thomas worked on for CodeMonk was Zilch – the double unicorn Buy-Now-pay-later provider as they needed assistance with their DevOps infrastructure.
“For DevOps projects I normally get called in for a few hours to give directions to other colleagues. DevOps is something that you can configure for the team and then the developers are building the code and running through a pipeline of systems that you have already built. This means that you do not have to constantly look over what the team is doing”.
“A friend of mine had started a company called QuantumBlack which was helping companies handle big data analysis. I started there doing traditional IT support functions and while the company grew, DevOps was something that the internal team started to see a need for. With my infrastructure background it was somewhat easy for me to take this step because there is a lot of similarity with DevOps. It became a natural transition for me.”
“The most fun part is that I am meeting interesting and talented people through my work. People that really want to push the technology forward. And it is so great that I get to meet many of themthrough the CodeMonk community.”
Thomas is lead DevOps and Solution Architect. He has started with traditional support roles and migrated to the Cloud Native solutions since 2010. He is versatile in AWS, Azure and GPC allowing him to select the best fit for the product without having to lock down to one supplier.